The website Joliet Army Ammunition Plant states that: The Joliet Army Ammunition Plant (JOAAP) was originally known as the Elwood Ordnance Plant (EOP) and the Kankakee Ordnance Works (KOW) when they were authorized by the federal government in 1940. The website further notes that: "At peak production during WW II, over 10,425 people were employed at the two plants. The Elwood facility loaded over 926 million bombs, shells, mines, detonators, fuzes, and boosters, and the Kankakee facility set a national record producing over one billion pounds of TNT.

 A document titled Explosive Accident Summary: World War II notes that :"An explosion [at the Elwood Ordnance Plant] involving a building and 3 railcars of anti-tank mines with an explosives weight of 62,600 pounds of TNT, killed 49 and injured 67 on 5 June 1942. In terms of lives lost this was the most deadly explosion at the ammunition plants during World War 11."

Below is an image of part of the front page of the Joliet Herald-News published on June 5, 1942.

For a larger view of the casualty list, please click here.



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Joliet Remembers the 1940s was written and produced by Jack Tegel, Roger Gambrel, Leslie Eggman, and Chris Sloan.